Posts tagged Adelaide Cabaret Festival

RAW: Pasek and Paul – Cabaret Festival

The musical business is a cut throat world but Benj Pasek and Justin Paul appear destined to be the next big things to hit the genre.  Having absorbed the New York style, from Bernstein to Sondheim, these two young performers are now racking up the successes and gathering the new generation’s acclaim along the way.

This show was pure New York entertainment (that is after all their home town), both effervescent with an almost school boy like enthusiasm that quickly infected the crowd. Many in the premium seats were much less aware of them and their wares to date than those with the concession passes but for them, these two guys are where it is at.

The show benefitted greatly from two guest appearances – the first, with encore by Shoshana Bean and the second by Liz Callaway, both singing Pasek and Paul songs from past and future musicals.  They (with their song sheets and use of a music stand) and the P & P banter (where both seemed comfortable talking over the other) were able to create an informality and warmth to the show, though there was no doubting this was all well rehearsed and supremely well executed.

This show was a joy and one of the highlights of the entire Festival.

Kryztoff Rating 4.5K

RAW: Frisky and Mannish – Cab Festival

This show is great fun. Felicity Fitz-Frisky, in school mistress black, and Hansel Mannish, in a somewhat camp outfit that featured some leather trousers that begged the question as to how they get put on or removed, provide the most polished of performances.

While the notion of making fun of singers and their lyrics is not new, this English pair, through their School of Pop approach, give a more contemporary spin on it drawing on such things as how English literature classics inspired and smoking cannabis affected song writing. From Kate Bush to Lady Gaga, no one targeted much survived the expose. Quite whether all this crowd got all the jokes is unclear – the standard Adelaide cabaret crowd seems rather older as a rule than the fringe humour audiences this pair would have been used to.

Nonetheless, with some patter about Adelaide’s sad rivalry with Melbourne, superb comic timing and never let up intensity, Friksy and Mannish make for a great hour of entertainment whether or not one would describe it as true cabaret.

Kryztoff Rating   4K

RAW: High School Cabaret – Cab Festival

The reality of the ‘world premiere’ of High School Cabaret, featuring creative arts students from Seaview and Norwood Morialta High Schools perhaps did not live up to the hype of the billing. However, after an uneasy start, some real potential stars started to emerge – four in particular stood out.

Year 10 student, Sam Trenwith took to the stage and the microphone with the competence, composure and charisma to suggest we have another highly talented individual in the wings to fully emerge on the local theatrical scene. Beautiful Mel Pal drew attention in her attractive black dress and with increased strength and confidence in her voice has the potential to be a real star in the making. Amongst the many dancers, Tyson Nunn’s crump gyrations, complete with grasped groin, suggested an athlete capable of mixing it in any of the myriad forms of modern dance available. Finally, Sheridan Deslandes dominated proceedings with her various acts but particularly her rendition of Chain of Fools. Her confidence and desire to command her audience was impressive for one just in Year 12 – another Queenie Van de Zandt or even Natalie Cole in the making.

High School Cabaret was an ambitious project. There are so many performers nowadays who can dazzle at the youngest ages and hence one’s expectations of the ‘world premiere’ were set high. However, this town has developed such a reputation for young artists of all kinds – the music industry in particular – that ensuring projects like this get going and offer up opportunities for both the students as well as for audiences to see stars in the making is important, so well done to all involved, especially the two schools and the Cab festival organisers for committing to such a night.

Kryztoff Rating 3K

RAW: Tim Rogers – Festival Theatre

Reviewer – Jenna Munday

Superbia, Avaritia, Luxuria, Invidia, Gula, Ira, Aceda. Or, if you don’t understand Latin- Wrath, Greed, Sloth, Pride, Lust, Envy and Gluttony. Yes, they’re the seven cardinal sins, or Saligia, and Tim Rogers was in town recently to explain them all.

Running for three nights as part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Tim’s show Saligia captivated me for the show’s entirety. Taking us through and singing about the seven deadly sins, Roger’s had the packed out audience in awe. This man can perform. He’s charismatic and funny, making jokes about the fact that he did go to school, football teams and asking that all important question, “why did Big Star close?”

In a show put together especially for the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Rogers’ seven piece band, featuring Xani Kolac, Ben Franz, Iain Grandage, Ian Kitney, Shane O’Mara and Melanie Robinson, shone. The stage was filled with candelabras giving a very European feel and humorous and quirky illustrations depicted Rogers’ punishment for committing the sins spoken of.

This show deserves to be performed outside of the three date Adelaide Cabaret Festival. I hope Mr Rogers performs it around Australia because it is a truly wonderful seventy-five minutes of art.

Kryztoff Rating   4K

RAW: A Norah Jones Tribute @ The Promethean

Following on from a sellout season at the Adelaide Fringe, Georgie Aue presents music of acclaimed singer/songwriter Norah Jones.

Focusing on Jones debut album “Come Away With Me” the Georgie Aue Quartet comes out very energetic in the second half of the show. The quartet performs a number of songs written by Georgie Aue after the Adelaide Fringe season herself which where greatly influenced by Norah Jones.

The quartet includes Locky Ridge on guitar, John Aue on double bass and Jamie Jones on percussion. 

Two more shows on Sat 19th and 26th.

Kryztoff Rating: 3.5K

RAW: Lady Sings the Blues @ The Promethean

After a successfull season at the Adelaide Fringe Sidonie Henbest brings us Lady Sings the Blues. Again well accompanied by Mathew Carey. This time also accompanied with some great work on the  double bass by Alana Dawes.

A great variety of songs are performed to an eager audience, including Come Rain or Come Shine, Nobody Knows You When Your Down and Out, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered and I’ll Get Along Without You Very Well.  

The seconed half achieved a great level of energy to the delight of the audience. It’s a pleasure listening to artists, such as Henbest perform who realy enjoy what they are doing.

Kryztoff Rating: 3.5K

RAW: Lanie Lane presents Betty Baby & the Blues of a Bygone Era – Festival Centre

Lanie Lane’s musical style – an eclectic mix of old style blues and modern fashions – is matched in her physical appearance; emerging in a short 1950s style dress, complimented by sparkly black leggings, and with coiffed hair she presented an interesting blend of old and new.

Lane credits her guitar, Betty Baby, as her long time song-writing partner and, following a small hitch with the amplifier which rendered Betty mute for the first track, together they played a set of both original songs and covers. Adding a fuller sound to the evening were Paul Derricott on drums, David Symes on bass and Jared Masters on grand piano. Together they made a pleasing overall sound.

One of the more interesting covers of the show was her interpretation of Britney Spears’ Toxicity, the rearrangement of which was pleasantly unrecognisable. A harmonica, hanging around Lane’s neck, appeared to be for aesthetic purposes only but eventually got a play during Hoochie Coochie Man; one of the crowd favourites. The final track, What Am I To Do, was an audience sing-a-long number, with many still humming it as they left.

While Lane, and the group as a whole, were musically right on the money, and the applause was quick coming for each song, the banter in between was somewhat lacking. Lane’s fey, innocent little girl persona became a little grating and more could have been made of the song introductions to make the show into more of a cabaret experience.

Kryztoff Rating  3.5K

RAW: Earl Okin – Cabaret Festival

Earl Okin is a funny man. At first blush he is, to look at, one part Roy Orbison and three parts Henry Kissenger. His claims to being a sex symbol are immediately silly as the archetypal  respressed and restrained English gentleman and his guitar greet you and produce a song of such hilarity first up that this hour promises everything Friday evening entertainment can be. Strangely however, and I assume in recognition of this being a cabaret festival, Okin took to playing some straight cabaret ballards that had either no humour or the merest excuse associated with it. As a result moments of the show drifted that had he stuck to a stricter comedy routine would have delighted.

Nonetheless there were magic moments, his tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber and finales to women who aren’t beautiful (because there are so many more of them) were highlights of these. His horn solos were terrific and his puns and double entendres always amusing.

Kryztoff Rating     3.5K